LETTER: Improved rail links would help Pendle prosper

In the past weeks, there have been several vituperative letters criticising the Selrap campaign to re-open the Skipton-Colne line.

The letters have been more noteworthy for indignation than argument. I am proud to be a member of the campaign and applaud publicly the dedicated volunteers who within 10 years have brought the project from pipe-dream to practical possibility. It is a pity Pendle and Burnley Councils have not done far more to support the campaign as the economic benefits of the re-opened line would be immense.

Pendle is, quite literally, the end of the line, yet it offers so much potential in terms of skilled workers, housing and beautiful location (to name but a few items). Being part of the interconnected rail system in conjunction with the kind of integrated transport systems standard practice in Germany since the 1930s would help to open up the area to the growth and economic regeneration vital to pull Pendle up to average UK levels.

One of the first beneficiaries of the re-opened line would be homeowners whose property values would, on average, rise to the kind of levels found in Skipton. The immense commercial and industrial regeneration of East Craven (as opposed to West Craven) has been aided and abetted by its short distance from Leeds by rail.

Pendle would have the advantage of travel distances to Manchester and Leeds transformed by the upgrade to the Preston line and the re-opening of the Colne-Skipton route.

EDWARD JOHNSON

Earby Town Councillor